Navy Blue is Sage Elsesser, a 23-year-old Los Angeles-born pro skateboarder and occasional rapper who has been making insular, lo-fi rap music since 2015. In that time, Navy Blue has made connections with some of the brightest minds in music. He teamed up with Earl Sweatshirt on Earl’s single “The Mint,” and he’s also the guy who shows up at the end of Frank Ocean’s Blonde talking about how he can play the theremin. He’s part of a whole wave of underground rappers — Mach-Hommy, MIKE, Maxo, Mavi, Akai Solo, Pink Siifu — making warm, oblique, absorbing music. And today, he’s got a new album.
The new Navy Blue project is called Àdá Irin, and since it’s a Bandcamp release with 11 tracks, it’s probably safe to call it an album, rather than an EP or a mixtape or whatever. It’s a hazy, unhurried piece of work, full of internal ruminations and diffuse, immersive jazz samples. It’s thoughtful, emotional music that rewards attention but also plays prettily in the background if that’s what you want from it.
Àdá Irin only has one guest rapper: Ka, the great Brooklyn cult figure, who shows up on “In Good Hands.” The rest of the time, it’s all Navy Blue, and it sounds a whole lot like one young man’s internal monologue. Navy Blue also produced the album alongside Preservation and Rago Foot. Stream the album below.
Àdá Irin is out now, and you can get it at Bandcamp.